Providing care for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease is challenging under the best of circumstances; mix in a worldwide pandemic, one which calls for social distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and meticulous sanitation of both us and our home, and the challenge might seem impossible.
Atlanta Home Care Partners’ dementia care team provides the following guidelines to help minimize anxiousness and frustration for individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s while keeping both them and their caregivers safe:
- Be sure to make self-care a top priority. Now more than ever, it’s very important to gauge your personal level of stress, and take the appropriate steps to make certain you’re healthy – both emotionally and physically. You can only supply the best Alzheimer’s care for a senior loved one if your own needs are met. This might mean reducing time spent monitoring the news and on social media, maintaining connections with friends and relatives, and taking time for comforting, rewarding activities.
- Take care of personal hygiene. Proper handwashing techniques are critical for everybody but can be difficult for those with dementia to maintain. Depending on the individual’s stage of the disease, it might help to wash your hands together, showing the steps to your loved one; or, place signs next to the sink in the bathroom and kitchen with a reminder to scrub for 20 seconds. Remember that repetition, a typical behavior in Alzheimer’s, may work in your favor in this case.
- Consider your words very carefully. When communicating with a parent about changes relevant to COVID-19, it’s crucial to keep it straight forward, utilizing a calm and reassuring tone. Beth Kallmyer, Vice President of Care and Support at the Alzheimer’s Association, suggests statements such as, “We have to stay inside because that’s most safe for us, but we’ll do it together. I’ll be with you and we’ll be okay.”
- Have a backup plan. In the event that you were identified as having COVID-19 yourself, or another medical problem that would stop you from safely providing Alzheimer’s care for a senior loved one, it is critical to have a strategy established for who could step in to fulfill your caregiving responsibilities. A skilled home care agency, such as Atlanta Home Care Partners, is a perfect choice, with professional aides who are experienced in specialized Alzheimer’s care.
Let Atlanta Home Care Partners help you. Our specialized Alzheimer’s caregivers are fully trained and experienced in both adhering to proper protocol pertaining to decreasing the risk for contracting coronavirus, as well as in the unique form of care that’s most effective for individuals with Alzheimer’s. Contact us at (404) 228-0103 for a consultation.